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Episode 26: Let's Go, Buddy

 

Review by Scott Richardson

September 28, 2007

 

Summary

 

Rising from an ocean of pure Spiral energy, Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann immediately attacks one of the Anti-Spiral warships. In retaliation, the warships use their many arms to hurl nearby planetoids at the moon-sized Gunmen, which shrugs off the attacks as if they were nothing behind a strong Spiral field. Simon counterattacks by using Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann's sunglasses as a boomerang, which cuts one of the warships in half. The remaining warship fires a huge volley of missiles, some of which manage to hit their targets despite the Spiral field apparently working perfectly. Lordgenome's head explains that the Anti-Spirals are interfering with probability--allowing some missiles to hit even when they should not. Suddenly, a bright light appears in the distance and the voice of the Anti-Spirals asks the Team Dai-Gurren if they really wish to continue on and sacrifice even more of their companions. Simon remains defiant, so the Anti-Spiral tells him that Spiral energy, which can do nothing but continue to evolve, will eventually destroy the universe. From the beginning, Spiral energy connected life to the universe, and eventually caused life to evolve into a form capable of harnessing it. If left uncontrolled, however, Spiral energy harnessed by a lifeform will grow immeasurably and eventually become its own galaxy. Eventually, these galaxies will collapse into one another, forming a black hole capable of devouring the entire universe--this is what the Anti-Spirals refer to as the 'Spiral Nemesis'. Surprisingly, Simon is shaken by this news. Viral tries to assure him that the Anti-Spirals are probably just bluffing, but Lordgenome tells them that what the Anti-Spiral said was the truth--those who wield Spiral power understand this on an instinctual level. However, Lordgenome reminds Simon of another truth: Nia is waiting for him, and so is the Earth which he promised to protect. The Anti-Spiral asks Simon if he really intends to destroy the universe for the sake of a fleeting emotion, but Simon, now regaining his fighting spirit, tells him that he'll protect both Nia and the universe. The remaining Anti-Spiral warship escapes into what Lordgenome describes as a random Schrodinger warp--which takes advantage of the Anti-Spirals complete control over this universe--allowing the warship to approach them while shifting randomly through space and time. Rather than attempting to explain all this to the confused brigade members, Lordgenome simply activates a weapons system which is capable of simultaneously decimate all weak points in responsive space-time. Super Galaxy Gurren-Lagann sprouts drills which sprout numerous drills of their own, which fire simultaneously into thousands of different points in space-time where the warship is hiding. Crippled by the massive barrage, the warship is forced out of its hiding spot only to face the wrath of Simon's Super Galaxy Giga Drill Breaker. With the battle decisively ended, the large projection of Nia disappears, allowing Simon to initiate a warp to Nia's actual location. Unfortunately, the Anti-Spiral interrupts him, sending him and the rest of the crew into some sort of trance. 

 

Under Kamina's leadership, young Simon drills his way into a jewelry store after hours. The two of them live in the capital as thieves after their escape from Jiiha village. As Kamina puts it, even if they can't beat the beastmen, as long as they can steal money from them they'll be able to live with ease. Elsewhere, an armed criminal bursts into the suburban home of Nakim and Maosha, demanding money and food. Fortunately, Yoko Littner, a famous bounty hunter, comes swinging to their rescue followed by a crowd of adoring reporters... Back in the real world, Lordgenome and Boota are at a loss as to why their comrades are suddenly unresponsive and partially phased-out. A featureless black silhouette appears and informs Lordgenome that his crew are trapped inside an alternate universe from which they can never escape. Recognizing the silhouette as an actual Anti-Spiral, Lordgenome notes that it's being surprisingly kind, going to such lengths to trap them when he could easily destroy them if they fought at full strength. The Anti-Spiral admits that they've felt an unknown type of Spiral energy and a half-complete analysis isn't worth much. Suddenly, Boota erupts into a ball of Spiral energy and launches himself at the Anti-Spiral, who fires some sort of energy beam in retaliation. At that moment, however, Lordgenome's latent Spiral energy is unexpectedly unleashed, combining with Boota's to block the Anti-Spiral beam. Somehow, this combination of Spiral energy causes Boota to take an adolescent humanoid form. Lordgenome muses that such rapid evolution should be impossible, but Boota blames it on Lordgenome's Spiral power, and unleashes a Spiral energy-charged punch at the Anti-Spiral, who seems to evaporate under the blow. Unfortunately, a rather amused Anti-Spiral reappears behind them and tells Boota that evolving into a humanoid form was a mistake, as now he will be trapped in the alternate universe as well. Having found the source of the odd Spiral energy, the Anti-Spiral places Lordgenome in the alternate universe as well and declares that all the holes in their plan are now closed. Back in the alternate universe, a disenchanted Simon watches as Kamina begs for his life after the authorities finally catch up to them. Behind him, a box with a core drill lock begins to glow, and Simon instinctively reaches for his core drill, but finds nothing. A familiar voice asks Simon if he's lost his drill. Simon turns to find Kamina, in full Team Gurren regalia, smiling at him. Noting Simon's confusion, Kamina points to the sky and reminds Simon that the two of them are the legendary Team Gurren of Jiiha Village! Since there's only room for one Kamina in this world, Kamina tells Simon to pick which one he likes. Simon protests this as madness, but Kamina looks him in the eye and reminds Simon that it was him who always made his madness work out, and then asks him what the purpose of his drill is. The other Kamina drags Simon to the ground, telling him to start begging too, so they can survive. After a tense moment with his face in the dirt, Simon rises up and yells that his drill is a drill which will pierce the heavens! Simon brings the groveling Kamina down in two powerful punches, and then quietly reminds himself that the drill is his soul. Team Gurren Kamina smiles as Simon looks down to find the core drill in his hands. Simon uses it to open the box, which seems to be filled with light that peels back the clouds, revealing a deep purple sky. Kamina reminds Simon that the path which you choose yourself is the truth of your universe. Simon, once again an adult, agrees, and Kamina notes that it seems that Simon grew taller than him. The brothers share a laugh and then Simon tells Kamina that he's got to go. Kamina calls it their final goodbye, but Simon corrects him, noting that they're always together. Simon uses his core drill to bend the universe to his will, transforms into Gurren-Lagann and flies off to gather his comrades. Elsewhere, Yoko's reality begins to fall apart as she faces a television which shows her various alternate lives she could have lead--becoming a beauty queen, an expert sharpshooter, or even Kittan's bride. Yoko, now back to her normal self, turns off the television, which is being held by a silent Kamina standing on the cliff where the two of them shared a moment before Kamina's final battle. Yoko thanks him, and seeing him look toward a green comet in the distance, grabs her own core drill and flies off to join it. The other members of the Team Dai-Gurren soon follow, until the green comet is seen over a beautiful valley, where Viral plays with his young daughter under the watchful eye of his loving wife. Realizing its meaning, Viral smiles longingly at the family he will never have, and then looks back at the comet with a mad grin before joining his comrades. In the realm of the Anti-Spiral, Nia, nearly exhausted by her ordeal, faces the Anti-Spiral, who asks her why she goes against them to such an extent. Nia defiantly tells him that Simon will come for her, but the Anti-Spiral tells her that she has no time left, and extends his arm across the room and grabs her by the head. Nia screams as parts of her body begin to fade away. But suddenly, her ring begins to pulse with green energy, causing the Anti-Spiral to pause his work. Nia pushes against her invisible restraints with all her might to point the her ring at the Anti-Spiral, when suddenly a massive drill bursts forth from the tiny ring, followed by Gurren-Lagann. Lagann's cockpit opens and Simon's cape billows forth as the leader of the Team Dai-Gurren apologizes for the wait. 

 

Commentary

 

This episode kicks off with a satisfying dose of revenge against the Anti-Spiral warship, a segment which somehow includes throwing planets, interfering with probability, and a massive laser barrage which reaches through space-time itself. Gurren-Lagann has always been over-the-top, but damn. Boota's transformation shouldn't catch you totally off-guard since they hinted at it somewhat over the past couple episodes, but I'm still shocked that those wild rumors about Boota being the aide in the prologue sequence turned out to be true. The true meat of the episode, though, was the alternate universe segment, which despite being somewhat of a cliche, was handled really well. Viral's dream family was especially touching, despite being given the least amount of screentime. The reappearance of Kamina was handled perfectly, even if he was nothing more than part of Simon's unconsciousness--seeing adult Simon and Kamina together was pure fanservice. It also bares mentioning that as spectacular as the animation has been during this arc, this episode really took it the extra mile. Only one episode remains, and I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see how all this turns out.  

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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Gurren-Lagann Episode 26 Gurren-Lagann Episode 26

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